Saturday, 19 August 2017

Day 19. Which RPG features the best writing?

This is a tough one.

Lot's of games have passed through my hands and I've read as many. I could just fall on my all time favorite, but I will instead veer right: Shadowrun.

I have a memory board of sorts, it's a clipboard now almost 30 years old. Various items decorate its surface: an interview with Bart Simpson from the AJC at the peak of The Simpsons popularity in '89 or '90, a label from a bottle of Michelob Dry, a piece of art I drew for a fraternity tee, and the iconic Shadowrun skull.

In 1990, and I'm certain I've blogged here about it, I was a tournament Shadowrun GM at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair. The affair was poorly managed, but that has nothing to do with "best writing." And my pick is the first edition Shadowrun game.

I'm not talking about structure. SR1E is notorious for the awful structure and rules presentation. But in 1989 SR was groundbreaking and then the setting just made it pop. Sure, it borrowed heavily from Gibson and Sterling at the time, but the ideas presented in the Sixth World, UGE, the Ghost Dance, and the richly detailed Sprawl of Seattle cemented the setting. And then there was the merciless mocking of Scientology with the Universal Brotherhood. Wha?! Check the cover of the original sourcebook. See that volcano? Dianetics anyone?

But the sourcebooks contained the ramblings of Fastjack, the BBS, Dunkelzahn the PR savvy dragon, the advertisements for fictional haunts and more. Player and GM alike would fall into the world. And I did. 

I sold the lot of my first edition collection on eBay 17 years ago. The Universal Brotherhood sourcebook sold in an auction for $100.

Posted by caffeinated at 8:00 PM in d10